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  • Published: 30 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9780141989495
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

Some Men In London: Queer Life, 1945-1959




The first part of a major new anthology which uncovers the rich reality of life for queer men in London

In the 1940s, it was believed that homosexuality had been becoming more widespread in the aftermath of war. A moral panic ensued, centred around London as the place to which gay men gravitated.

In a major new anthology, Peter Parker explores what it was actually like for queer men in London in this period, whether they were well-known figures such as John Gielgud, ‘Chips’ Channon and E.M. Forster, or living lives of quiet – or occasionally rowdy – anonymity in pubs, clubs, more public places of assignation, or at home. It is rich with letters, diaries, psychological textbooks, novels, films, plays and police records, covering a wide range of viewpoints, from those who deplored homosexuality to those who campaigned for its decriminalisation.

This first volume, from 1945 to 1959, details a community forced to live at constant risk of blackmail or prison. Yet it also shows a thriving and joyous subculture, one that enriched a mainstream culture often ignorant of its debt to gay creators. Some Men In London is a testament to queer life, which was always much more complex than newspapers, governments and the Metropolitan Police Force imagined.

  • Published: 30 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9780141989495
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

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Praise for Some Men In London: Queer Life, 1945-1959

Quite simply, this book is a work of genius

Matthew Parris, The Spectator

An intriguing collage of the era’s mood

Robbie Millen, The Times

With it’s wide-ranging selection, generous biographical notes and provocative bibliography, Some Men in London is a serious and important contribution to our understanding of Britain up to today

Fiona Sampson, The Tablet

These beautifully written letters, diary entries and extracts from novels, skilfully edited by Peter Parker, add up to an essential study of postwar gay London lifeSome Men in London's second volume, which takes us up to 1967, will be published in September. I'll be counting the days - this is one of the best anthologies I have ever read

John Self, The Observer

Quite simply, this book is a work of genius

Matthew Parris, Spectator